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tv   [untitled]    December 16, 2010 12:30pm-1:00pm PST

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code section 309. >> good afternoon. i am rick crawford. this is for use authorization for a hotel and compliance with the project. f >> the project would construct a 15-story hotel with 172 rooms and approximately 3200 square feet of ground floor commercial space at 942 mission st.. the project site is located in south of market neighborhood just south of union square in the downtown area on the north side of mission in the block bounded by market, fifth, mission, and sixth streets. it has access to mission and jesse streets with primary
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frontage on mission. the project would demolish a vacant building and construct the new hotel. the new hotel would have ground for commercial space and 172 new hotel rooms. the sponsor proposes a 50-foot long passenger unloading space on jessie street. the project requires the purchase of tdr to develop the proposed f.a.r. the project has been proposed by the group that recommends modifications that were included, and they are in the present design of the project. the department has not received any public comment on the requested entitlement. the department is requesting that the commission make two minor changes in the draft motion. first, the date of the plan should change from july 22, 2009, to december 7, 2010.
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and the second, the last condition on the list, the one related to emergency preparedness, should be deleted. >> can you repeat the dates? >> the date in the motion now is the 22nd of july, 2009. but the correct date would be december 7, 2010. the department recommends approval of the hotel with exception for ground-level wind currents as proposed that complies with the planning code, advances the general good, activates this vacant piece of mission street and will provide an important use for the city. i'm available for questions. thank you very much. commissioner miguel: thank you. project sponsor? >> good afternoon. i've been working with the project sponsor for the last year out of the three years that
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the project has been tending -- almost three years. you have already heard that we had three opponents. till we will have withdrawn their opposition and are here supporting the project. you will hear that as we proceed through public comment. the last of the people that were opposing this are not here, apparently, so i assume that they have defacto withdrawn their opposition. i do not know of any other opposition that will appear before you. i want to turn it over to michael stanton. this is a convention hotel, designed to serve the convention and visitors in san francisco. there is no restaurant. there are 172 rooms. those people will all be and being on demand plaza and other local eateries and other establishments and using them as they were intended. michael will show you the project. everybody on the project team is
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here. our environmental people are here. obviously, i'm here to answer questions. thank you. commissioner miguel: thank you. >> thank you. my name is michael stanton. i'm the architect for 942 mission street. my wife has the great saying that architects cannot talk without crops, so i'm going to ask linda to put up the first image. as rick summarized and jim as well, 942 mission st. is a rules only hotel. it is designed to be a three or four-star property. it is anticipated to be operated by a major operation along the order of the courtyard, hampton inn, one of those hotels. designed specifically to serve
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what many people believe is underserved in the san francisco market. a great deal of properties have been built around the convention center lately, but there is no new construction at this particular level. working with staff, the design was a significant setback from mission street so that the building would respect the two five-story sro hotels which straddles. the material in the building changes consciously from its mission street facade, which is seen as the hotel's contribution to the public room to the rest of the hotel, which has a more contemporary feeling to it. the context around the side are the two sro's. very handsome buildings that i just mentioned. the smaller building in between with the for sale sign on it is
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the site. here is a view of the site straight on, and here is the backside, significantly altered over time. it goes all the way through from mission to jessie. it is intended that that would be the limiting side for vehicles so that hotel guests will not be disrupting bus traffic but unloading on jessie street. as i mentioned, the massing of the hotel is set 50 feet back so the defense side can blend into the street wall where the materials are more sympathetic to the mission street facade. it is intended that the roof of the 50-foot setback be a vegetative roof. we see this as being drought tolerant california native grasses and the like. not for public use. strictly as a contribution to the city skyline. the photomontage here shows the
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view looking from the garage toward the site. this is the same view towards the marriott, and the image on the left is without the hotel constructed, and the one on the right is with the hotel constructed, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the setback, which the department asked for. finally, this is the view along jesse street with the hotel seen on the left hand side. a couple of years of the model of the hotel i think are quite illustrative. the view down mission street towards the convention center is the back of the building. as rick crawford mentioned, there is not a restaurant in this hotel. the patrons who stay here will generate business activity which, hopefully, will fill some of the vacant storefronts on mission street that now exist in that block and will help further
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revitalize the plaza area, which is already an excellent civic space. the retail spaces will both be oriented to jesse end to mission street, as you see in this image. typical lower level floor plan of the hotel. this is the level of the seventh level where the vegetative roof is. typical level in the tower. the public open space will be accessible in the area on the roof of the hotel, which will provide a nice area for the public to use it and off hours for the hotel to use it for events. with that, i'm available to answer any specific questions people may have on it, either based on this presentation or the materials you have received, and i look forward to the commission's comments and hopefully, your approval of the project. thank you. commissioner miguel: thank you. is there any public comment on this project?
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>> good afternoon, commissioners. i would urge you to approve this project just on general principle. i believe it was once said that what is commonly referred to as planning is actually forcible superseding of other people's plans by government. the more that this happens, the less competitive san francisco, california, and the united states are in relation to other markets. there is a reason that the economy is in the doldrums here while the economies of places like china and india are moving. it is because there's too much debt burden on the economy. you could do a small part on that today by approving this project. one note to the developer -- i do not want you to mandate this, but i think it would be great if they had that rooftop garden open to the public. i think that sounds like a terrific thing, but it would be a shame to not have people be
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able to have access to it. thank you. commissioner miguel: additional public comment? >> my name is kevin wesley. i'm director of the golden gate restaurant association. we work closely with the convention and visitors bureau, to be called san francisco travel association, and i'm here basically to support this project to support several things. one is drawn larger contingents of san francisco to fill not only the coffers of business but the coffers of the city itself. second is to support the construction trades industry. there has been very little development in san francisco in recent years and there is a very high unemployment level in construction trades and jobs like this that are relatively ready to go will help alleviate some of that unemployment. the third is to continue to develop this area in terms of night life and also, we like the fact that representing the restaurant association, that they are not putting a restaurant in the hotel, and it would help a lot of restaurants
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that are struggling in the current economy, so we urge you to support this. thank you. commissioner miguel: thank you. >> good afternoon. i'm with the san francisco convention and visitors bureau, soon to be the san francisco travel association. one of our core directives is to support the long-term development from the destination. we are very much in favor of projects that improve the local experience. with that, i wanted to bring up a couple of points. the availability of hotels within walking distance is very attractive to meeting planners, and it is something we promote very heavily when we book business. transit services are going to be very attractive to visit is -- visitors attending events at mosconi center. we know the large percentage of our attendees attach extra days, and again, the location is going to be convenient, so this would help encourage visitors to stay
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longer. as i have often said, we know that 50% of every visitor dollar is spent outside of the hotel on dining and shopping, entertainment attractions, etc., so this would bring the desirable foot traffic to the neighborhood, which will create businesses, and many of and in particular needs these opportunities, so we do feel this supports the long term development of the destination, and we appreciate your consideration. thank you. commissioner miguel: thank you. is there additional public comment? >> thank you, commissioner. a couple of weeks ago, for the first time, i sat on a teacher'' convention at the marriott hotel. i had never stayed there. and that is not cheap. that is one expensive hotel. the point is that i think this hotel would fit the area,
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especially of the clientele. we look for your approval. thank you very much. commissioner miguel: thank you. >> i represent the owners of the building at 932 mission street. we initially have some concerns about the project, but after some changes to the design at the property line with our building, we now support the development. the building has been my family for three generations and in recent years, i have noticed that this blighted area has been revised by the plaza development. we believe this new development will continue to improve the neighborhood. particularly the retail environment on mission street, and we welcome the commission to approve the building. thank you. commissioner miguel: thank you. is there additional public
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comment on this item? if not, public comment is closed -- ofh. >> thanks. i spoke earlier, but i just wanted to reiterate my full support of this project. we hope we will have some members working at the hotel in the coming years. commissioner miguel: thank you. is there additional public comment? if not, public comment is closed. commissioner moore: the public has listed many arguments of why they should support the property. i would like to add a few of my own. i would like to it knowledge the expansion delivering a building which is of great interest to me, maintaining the integrity of mission street is first. second is not to ask for more than what codes are already allowed. the fact that there might need to be a small exception is minor in comparison to what i believe
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the project will deliver. the public comments about what it does to the hotel industry, which we are currently discussing relative to a reduction in hotel rooms. it is interesting to me to acknowledge that mission street was a strong anti door, but leave mission street intact. by that, minimizing shadow. minimizing unwanted intrusions. what i'm mostly interested in is seeing another element. the one comment i would like to ask staff is to see that we use a strong landscape design that already exists in the plaza. and that those ideas get integrated and further expand it in front of jesse street -- jessie straight. i would like to ask staff that we put that into position, that
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the main plaza landscape ideas be extended. those are material plant designs, and other details, including the environmental friendly nature. otherwise, i'm in full support. and while i'm interested in hearing other commissioner, it's, i would like to make a motion that we approve. >> second. commissioner olague: i do hope that in the language, your recommendations are included in that. is that correct? the ones about the landscaping? commissioner moore: providing the landscaping with the retailing, which is extraordinary. >> i support the project also. my only question is, i guess -- and i should have called the project sponsor, but i did not
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have time. i just want to ask the project sponsor -- did you contact the owners of the property adjacent to that site? i was just wondering, one of them, they actually own the property behind the site. i was curious about the sro's on either side of the building. obviously, it will be subject to the regular construction of rules and what not, but i'm just wondering if you were able to engage in any conversation with them. i know they are both residential hotels. i do not know if either have long-term residents. >> the building to the east owner was here and is now speaking for the project. we modified our structure somewhat and actually eliminated some small amount of square feet, and the building to the west we have had communication with, and they have not taken a
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position, but they are not opposing the project. as i understand it, that building is 100% full. no vacancies. we have communicated with everybody in the area. >> of the rooms that are the conditions of some of those hotels have been challenging in the past, i just wanted to make sure that it will not be uncomfortable for the individuals that live there. >> there are construction mitigation measures, and we will be following them. commissioner olague: great. ok. yes. >> if i may, we are concerned about disrupting the neighboring structures as well. the intent is that the demolition will not demolish the existing basement of the 942 mission street building. we will shore it up, and as was
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noted, we will drill for the foundations rather than pound them. while the construction is -- there are a lot of vagaries with construction, we're taking every precaution to be good neighbors to the adjacent structures. commissioner olague: ok. i just wanted to ask publicly that question. i have to work across the street, so i'm familiar with the area. i do think that because it is a project and a three-star hotel, as someone mentioned, there are not a lot of volunteer -- moderately priced hotels in the area. i think that will contribute to families or others that would come with their partners that happen to be attending a conference that might make it easier for people to also attend some of these conferences.
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i think it is a good project. we will see. commissioner antonini: i agree with the other commissioners. the set back off of mission street, i think it is very kind to mission the way it has been done. there have been times not in the recent past but in the more distant past where some hotels and others really did not address the street very well. of course, hotel capacity has been pointed out as a limiting factor that has been getting enough conventions. anything that we can do to build this capacity is really a good thing. i liked the fact that the tower aspect has articulation, which i think is very sensitive and also harkens back to an earlier architectural era when we had these sort of things. i just want to make sure that it is well appointed, which i think
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it would be as well as exterior aspects, and staff will continue to work with the architect on the part of it, but the rendering we see now is pretty good, and i think we can make it a nice addition to the skyline. >> i'm supportive of the project. there are tens of millions of dollars of work being done on mosconi north and south right now, so the expansion of that area and improvement in that area is vital. there is discussion about more possible expansion, and the success of mosconi west. i think it is going to be needed. again, reiterating the point of more variety and selections for san francisco, it is important, so i am supportive of the project.
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commissioner miguel: i'm also supportive of the project. at one time, i had some questions, which have been answered, regarding the aspects of jesse street -- aspects of jessie street. but my thoughts on that have been cleared up without question. i do appreciate the comments as to using the palette of meant plaza as far as the planting and the concern there. i think it will certainly improve that section, as well as the fact that san franciscans have come to an extent, long neglected mission street, and there was a lot of questions on the fact that bloomingdale's is actually going to have a
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frontage on mission street, and i think we are starting to prove those naysayers wrong. this is just another way of moving individual blocks that start to improve the area's to either side of them. certainly, if the financing ever comes together to actually open a san francisco museum at the old mint, the entire area will start to be transformed. so i'm very pleased with this project. commissioner moore: is it to promote -- appropriate to ask whether or not this is a realistic construction schedule? it would be great to see this happen. >> i'm not the one that signs the construction loan agreement, but i'm told that there is a lot of interest and that there is a
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construction schedule, and it will commence forthwith, soon. we have to go through a plan check process, but this hotel is going to be built. >> perhaps you could convey that message -- >> we will play the tape for the lender. [laughter] them the commissioners, the motion on the floor is for approval with the added condition that because a landscaping design be extended to this project. on that motion? and i'm assuming we are approving the conditional use. on that, [roll call] thank you, commissioners.
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commissioner miguel: can we just get through this one? >> it is going to be a long one. commissioner miguel: is it? ok, we are going to take a short ok, we are going to take a short break.
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